Although it seems that everything came to a screeching halt, it is more important than ever to keep yourself in a good headspace. As business owners you will always be faced with obstacles, but how you overcome those hurdles will define your success.
No one opens a business with the expectation that dealing with a world-wide pandemic would be on their “how-to” list. We worry about our friends and family getting sick. We worry about if our small rainy day savings will be enough. We worry. One thing that remains the same through this, the photography community is unlike any other. We are all in this together. We band together and fight through to save what we have worked so hard to create.
Here at Style & Select, we are with you. We are photographers trying to keep our businesses afloat. We are mommas now homeschooling our wild kids while trying to work from home. It is not easy and that is why we wanted to bring you a list of ideas that can not only keep your business moving along, but give you ideas for a creative outlet, and a way to organize and streamline your business before sessions pick back up. And they will. This too, shall pass.
So, without further ado, here is a list of some free (and not free) ideas that can grow you as a photographer, help you organize, and keep your creative juices flowing during this time.
Iris Works can help you save time, organize, and grow your business. They provide tools for automating e-mails to new or current clients, calendar syncing, invoicing, and quickbooks integration. Spend the time completing e-mail and invoice templates so when sessions pick back up, you can hit the ground running.
They always have a 14 day free trial to test it out and when you are ready to sign up, use coupon code STYLE20 (all caps) for 20% off. Check them out here.
2. Back up your files using Backblaze
Now is a better time than ever to get in and back up all of those precious memories you have from throughout the years. With Backblaze you can feel safe and know your data is secure with their unlimited and affordable data back up. It’s so important to not only have your images backed up on external hard drives, but to also have an off site back up. Backblaze allows you to access your files at any time, anywhere, through logging into your account online. Try them out for a free 15 day trial here.
3. Continue your education
There will never be a time, as a photographer, where you can say that you know it all. That is why continuing education is so important. Along with using Unraveled Academy as a resource, there are also well established photographers who open up and give you the ins and outs to editing, posing, styling, and business workflows. Whether you are just starting your business or you are well established, here are a couple online workshops that can fill your time and get you excited to start using your new skills when this pandemic has passed.
Unraveled Academy is an amazing resource and community of photographers that helps you grow your skills, learn new ones, and build your business. For $15/ month you can have access to old, current, and new courses geared towards editing, posing, growing your business, and finding your style. Use the coupon JOINUS (all caps) when signing up to get $10 off your first month! Check them out here.
All Heart Access By Stormy Solis
Spend each season learning new and exciting techniques with the talented Stormy Solis. From editing (her presets and actions included), to behind the scenes videos of shooting and working with clients. You won’t want to miss this all access pass. Learn more about this exciting opportunity here.
There’s more!! If you know you want to spend each season learning new and exciting things with Stormy, you can sign up for all 4 seasonal seasons at once and save $200 total PLUS Stormy is offering Style & Select followers her sold out editing video of the gorgeous session pictured above for FREE! To receive this video with your purchase of all 4 seasons, you must use this link here.
Embracing the Storm by Twyla Jones
Embracing the storm is all about finding your individual style, speeding up editing using Lightroom, and so much more. Twyla goes into depth with 10+ hours of editing, shooting, and culling/importing/exporting tips. Twyla also includes her very own presets to speed up editing as well as links and discounts to her favorite tools and vendors. And during this time of uncertainty, Twyla has been so gracious to offer 50% off of this workshop! You can use coupon code STAYSAFE (all caps) when signing up here.
Along with her workshop, she provides so many free tutorials on her blog. She goes over everything from layer masks to the oh so popular watercolor images. I, personally, have had so much fun making these watercolor portraits (example of an image of my kiddos turned into watercolor below) and offering them to my clients. Turning your clients’ images into watercolor artwork is another way you can supplement income during this tough time.
Presets and actions are one of the foundations of editing and help take your images to a new level. All presets can be tweaked to fit your personal style and image. At Embrace Presets, Jasmin has created a set of presets to add warmth, drama, and emotion to your images. Not only has Jasmin given us a discount to offer to you, but she is also doing informational editing videos during this time and offering them for free in her facebook group. She also has lots of editing videos on her youtube channel that are worth checking out! You can use the coupon code STYLE25 (all caps) when purchasing the presets to get 25% off.
4. Update your website
Who continually updates their website with new images, blog posts, etc? I find that it’s the last thing on my priority list. So what better time than now to dig through all of your favorite images and add them to your site. Change things up, create new blog posts, update your pricing, and improve your SEO. When you are done, start by asking a few people to get on your fresh and updated site and give you some constructive feedback and a portfolio review. Having another persons perspective is always a good idea before launching. After you are done, market that baby all over! Link your site on your social media pages so clients can see themselves displayed and share your work as well. You can kill two birds with one stone: have a fresh new site and market to potential clients – get those future sessions booked!
I know we don’t want to hear the word taxes, but in any business, it’s inevitable. Quickbooks makes it easy to sync your income, track expenses, and record mileage. So, when it comes to tax time, you won’t be pulling out your hair (as much). Take this down time to set up your quickbooks account so it’s ready to track everything for you when business starts booming again. You can sign up for quickbooks by going here.
6. Brush up on your posing skills using the Unscripted Posing App
The Unscripted Posing App provides tons of prompts and posing for any session you might have. Forget fumbling through screenshots or prompt cards that take up so much space during a session, Unscripted provides a one of a kind service to help you transition throughout the session with tons of fresh new pose ideas. Other fun features include a camera setting guide, sun tracker, lots of resources, and “Love Her Wild” Presets which are now 30% off using coupon code UNSCRIPTED30. You can find them here.
The Unscripted App can either be trialed for free or purchased with one of their subscription plans. They also have an affiliate program that you might be interested in! Give $20 off and you can earn $20 yourself! Check out this amazing resource here!
Although we are all in different situations, we can all agree that this is a tough time and we all have to band together. Whether you have loads of time, or are still busier than ever, take this time to gear up for when photo sessions start rolling back in. Stay safe and stay healthy!
Holly and Melissa